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Last March, the GCI participated in a five-day training workshop on the management and conservation of World Heritage Sites presented by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) in Hiroshima, Japan. Organized by the UNITAR Hiroshima Office for Asia and the Pacific, with the support of UNESCO, the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS, the GCI, and other selected partners, the workshop was the first in a three-year cycle (2004-2006) aimed at a better understanding and use of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) through national policy making and planning.

The workshop's 37 participants—resource persons and observers from 20 countries of the Asia-Pacific region—included representatives from government organizations such as ministries of culture, environment, and tourism; academia and research institutes; and United Nations agencies. Through plenary discussions, working group exercises, and study tours to two local World Heritage Sites, participants explored:

  • the concept of heritage and the value of natural and cultural resources viewed from cultural, philosophical, and religious aspects;
  • procedures for World Heritage nomination and designation;
  • the economic and social impact of the World Heritage designation;
  • benefit (and burden) sharing;
  • policy planning for a better use of the World Heritage Convention; and
  • international cooperation.

For further information, visit the UNITAR Hiroshima Office for Asia and the Pacific Web site (www.unitar.org/hiroshima/index.htm).